Research Platform. Nutrigenomics
Interactive Center. CIN
The Nutrigenomics Interactive Centre (CIN) is an initiative of the IMDEA Food Institute, the aim of which is to disseminate the Institute’s research results. Currently the CIN presents its exhibition entitled ‘SNP: Salud y Nutrición Personalizada’, i.e., “Health and Personalised Nutrition” the aims of which are to:
- Familiarize society at the school, family and business level, of the aims of research into nutritional genomics.
- To transmit the idea of the importance of nutrition in human health and the relationship between genetics and the effects of food on health.
- To explain different traits of personalised nutrition: emotional, chronobiological and social.
Via scientifically validated interactive surveys, the exhibition allows visitors to understand their degree of adherence to the Mediterranean Diet, their chronotype, and the involvement of their emotions in their food choices. Visitors acquire knowledge about themselves, their biology, their emotions and their current habits, and how they can use this information to follow a more healthy lifestyle.
The exhibition is divided into 6 areas:
- A1: Evolution and diet
- A2: Diet and health
- A3: Healthy living
- A4: The Mediterranean Diet
- A5: At the supermarket
- A6: In the laboratory
A1: Evolution and diet
This area shows the visitor how our diet has changed since the time of Australopithecus until that of Homo sapiens, and how the evolution of the diet has been inexorably linked to that of our species.
A2: Diet and health
This area teaches the visitor about how diet influences health. Traditionally, foods have been thought of as sources of energy and construction materials required by our cells so that they can undertake their functions. However, we now know that the diet plays an essential role in the regulation of gene expression. When genes are appropriately expressed, they help us maintain our bodies in perfect equilibrium. A strong diversion from the optimum, however, could lead to disease.
A3: Healthy living
In this section, the visitor will learn about the key elements of a healthy lifestyle and will be able to experience some of them as part of the interactive experience. The role of physical activity on health is well known, but less is known about how our emotions influence our food choices and how our mood is in turn affected by our diet, or how our internal clock
works and should be synchronized with our diet to prevent chronic diseases.
A4: The Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean Diet is a great Spanish heritage, which, in 2010, was declared a World Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. We therefore have one of the best ways of maintining health right before our eyes. But do people know what makes up the Mediterranean Diet? And is the diet we follow Mediterranean? The visitor can here learn the answers to these questions, as well as others on this diet.
A5: At the supermarket
Here visitors can use their newly acquired knowledge in a virtual food shopping scenario. The aim is to teach people responsible, personalised healthy food shopping.
A6: In the laboratory
This area recounts the history of research into nutrition, and describes the research work of the IMDEA Food Institute. A laboratory bench allows visitors to ‘be’ scientists, and to extract their own DNA. Audiovisual aids explain the make-up of the Institute and what some of our installation’s equipment is for.
Temporary workshops and exhibitions
The CIN also sets up workshops directed towards:
- Schoolchildren - supporting teaching in schools.
- Families - encouraging responsible nutrition at home.
- Nutrition consultants – providing support in the form of training.
The CIN also has temporary exhibitions organized by companies working in nutrition and allied fields.